Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy....

Today my daddy would have been 81. He's still my Hero....I miss him dearly.
Happy Birthday Daddy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Frank.

Happy Birthday to my Eldest Son, Frank. He's 29 today. Wherever you are, Son- I love you, miss you, have Faith in you and think of you often. I Love You Always, Mama xxx

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bring It!!!

Fight!!!!!! Fight!!!!!!

Well, here in our household, we have 4 key players and two minor ones. Key Players include Glenn and Joan, (my in-laws) and Paul & Myself. The minor players are Mutt & Jeff...I mean Ding & Dong...I mean Tess & Barney....The Dogs.
Now Paul & I don't have paying jobs yet. Paul just had his surgery and won't be back in commission for a couple more weeks, and he does as much as he feels he can-due to that restriction. Joan and I do the housework together along with the cooking and washing up afterwards.
Now, tonight, Glenn tried to wash up the dishes. I told him I would do them. As he explained, before Paul and I came to stay, he did the dishes after dinner on most nights. I then explained that we all had our parts to play. Until I get a paying job I will do the dishes after dinner- occasionally I'll take a day off - but I don't see why Glenn should go out and work a full time job all week and then come home and have to wash up after the four of us. Joan & Paul & Myself are here all day- and YES- we DO do the housework and such- but WE can do the chores and have time to take breaks whenever we like for a cup of tea, or to watch a show, or just do nothing if we like. Glenn doesn't have that luxury. He leaves at 8AM and gets back most nights around 5:30PM ....sometimes working as late as 7PM. On the weekends if he wants to take a turn at the dishes- fine- I'll gladly let him on ONE of those nights- but as long as I'm in the house and not working NO WAY will he do the dishes on the nights he works to keep us up.
Glenn- I appreciate it. Thank You!!!

5K in July....

Well, as I've said already- I'm doing a 5K Race For Life Cancer event in July. And looking forward to it, no less.
The thing is- there are adverts on TV for the events- saying how participant numbers are down this year. It's an all woman event. Here's the solution,....I think they should open the Event up to men, too. And if they DON'T open it to men- I think the men who want to participate should grab a pink Tee shirt- borrow a wig and join it just for FUN! Seriously.
Everyone thinks it's just for Breast Cancer because of the pink theme- but RFL supports ALL TYPES of Cancer research. And it really pisses me off that Women can have an "All Women" event- Minorities can have "All Black" or "All Hispanic" events- (such as the Million Man March in Washinton, DC)-but just let an "ALL WHITE MALE " event be scheduled and all HELL would Break Loose!!!
It's not fair- so let this Event be open to all walks of life....after all, isn't it for a wonderful cause?
Finding a cure for Cancer of ALL sorts!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Race For Life Fundraiser.....

Well, looks like Friday, Paul's mum, Joan, and I are doing some baking for a Race For Life Fundraiser on Saturday. Not really looking forward to it after some of my spectacular disasters in the kitchen lately. I wouldn't mind if I could make a Pink Lemonade Pound-Cake, because I KNOW I can make that one because I've made three of the since being here and they turned out....well, if not perfect- very nice. My girls from home have sent me a PROPER Bunt pan, (2 actually!!) and the next one WILL be perfect. But we've been requested to make Pink fairy-cakes. (Cup-cakes to my US peeps.) My frosting hasn't been spectacular either. Who am I fooling- it's turned out particularly CRAP. Everything is so different over here I'm STILL working on getting the ingredients ratio sorted.
Paul's mum is going to make Pink Coconut Ice too. Whatever That is. Joan says it's like a candy. Let's hope there's some left for the fundraiser, cause I LOVE Coconut Candy. I love Coconut ANYTHING!!!! Maybe even MORE than I like Chocolate. And the combination of the two- like a Bounty Bar or a Mounds Bar.......HEAVEN.
Anyway....it's gonna be an adventure.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Better Today....

Well, it looks like my additional medicationss the doctor prescribed for my elevated Blood Pressure are working. Today I can twirl my rings around on my fingers again!!! Thank goodness for Small Blessings!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

To Get My Mind Off Things I Can't Change At The Moment....

I stole this from my friend Kiki..... Only I'm making it all MINE doing it as a Christmas Version!!

day 01 - your favorite song-Sleigh Ride

day 02 - your least favorite song-Away In A manger

day 03 - a song that makes you happy-Jingle Bells

day 04 - a song that makes you sad-Oh Holy Night

day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone-Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere-White Christmas

day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event-Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

day 08 - a song that you know all the words to-Twelve Days Of Christmas

day 09 - a song that you can dance to-All I Want For Christmas Is YOU

day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep and feel relax-Oh Holy Night

day 11 - a song from your favorite band-Merry Christmas- The War Is Over

day 12 - a song from a band you hate-Santa Claus is Coming to Town(old-school country singer)

day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure-Somethings Stuck Up In The Chimney

day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love-I saw mommy Kissing Santa Claus(I DO hate that song)

day 15 - a song that describes you-We Wish You A Merry Christmas

day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate-I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio-White Christmas

day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio-I'm getting Nuthin For Christmas

day 19 - a song from your favorite album-White Christmas

day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry-I'm getting Nuthin For Christmas

day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy-Frosty The Snowman

day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad-Christmas Shoes

day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding-Christmas Cannon(Cannon in D-and yes, I did)

day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral-I'll Be Home For Christmas

day 25 - a song that makes you laugh-Somethings Stuck Up In The Chimney

day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument-Jingle Bells

day 27 - a song that you wish you could play-Deck The Halls

day 28 - a song that makes you feel inspired and creative-Deck The Halls

day 29 - a song from your childhood-Christmas Is Coming

day 30 - a song that makes you want to help the world, help the environment, end poverty, help society...Island Of Misfit Toys

I Miss........

Oh God.

I think my first bout of Homesickness has hit. What triggered it? Noise.
All. The. Time.
The TV goes on as soon as someone gets up. And stays on practically all day. It NEVER goes off unless we ALL go out to the shops or a doctors appointment. Even tho no ones actually 'watching, it's on as "Background noise". I've taken to staying home when everyone else goes out shopping just so I can turn the TV off and enjoy 20 minutes of total quiet while I'm alone.
I go for a walk....traffic noise. And car stereos blasting. The park- Ghetto Blasters. Even the library isn't quiet. It's on main street and they keep the door propped open so the noise from the cars and buses is heard as they go by.

I miss being able to get in the car and go to Wal-Mart. I know- it's so redneck typical, but some of the funniest things Paul & I laugh about happened at Wal-Mart. I hear the UK version of it is ASDA- but I haven't been there yet. I haven't even been to a Costco. I've seen TWO McDonald's since being in the UK and only one KFC. Haven't actually BEEN to either of them tho. I've seen a commercial for Burger King but I haven't actually seen one here. They must be camping out around the Unicorn Cave, which btw, I haven't found either.

I'm in the process of looking for a job now- even something part time would get me out of the house a few hours a day, and I think help immensely. I thought coming over here Paul and I would get all our stuff sorted, have jobs and be on our own within a three or four months. I see now I was being overly optimistic. I see us being here til at least the first of the year.

Don't get me wrong, I adore my in-laws. They are being very generous about everything. It's just me and my Rose colored Glasses have set my sights a bit high for realism, I think. It's hard after being on your own for years and years to move into another adults home and try to stay out from underfoot....to try and make their routine as unchanged as possible to keep problems from coming up.

I'm sure all this will get better as soon as I get a job and have some time away from the house and gain a bit of independence again.

But for now- at this moment-I miss the wide open spaces of home. I miss feeling free and feeling like an adult, not like a child who knows nothing and is too stupid to know even the basics of life here-even tho I have done them a thousand times at home. I miss feeling safe and secure in the knowledge that I'm strong and competent and in control of SOMETHING-ANYTHING. I miss being good at my job. I miss my Family. I miss my pets(even stupid Lucy), and I miss driving. I miss me & Paul swapping the remote and choosing what shows to watch on the TV, or where to go for dinner on my days off. I miss my car with Clays memorial decal on it and I miss having a place to PUT things without them getting mislaid or moved. I miss alone time with my hubby and feeling like it's me and him against the world.

I don't LIKE this homesickness thing. It sux.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Okay, I dont know what to do.......This is my problem. I have three blogs. This one- my original SUNNY SAYS, I have my Diet & Fitness Trials & Tribulations Blog, and then I have my Newest one about my British Adventure called OVER THE RAINBOW. Now for the past few months, I've pretty much been posting about the same things, in some(or MOST) cases even Duplicating, the blog posts on Sunny Says and Over The Rainbow, cause they're intertwined now. I have many more readers on this one than the other one, so should I just post on here and do away with the OTR one? Or do I just keep double posting? I'm hoping maybe at some point to be able to do the publishing thing with OTR so I'll have a copy of the entire experience later...something solid- not just on the net, ya know?
I dunno- What do y'all think?

Anyway, on to my post now.......

So I'm sitting here waiting on The Parents to come back in from their weekend visiting Andrew and Marina and Madelyn.
We saw The Parents off on Saturday noon-ish. They haven't seen little Maddie(or "Mad Dog" as my hubby has lovingly nicknamed the child) in around 3 weeks so they decided it was time for a visit before she grows anymore.
Even with Paul's surgery and him not being able to be very active, we still had a REALLY enjoyable weekend. We ate if and when we wanted- which wasn't all that much. And , amazingly, everything I cooked turned out perfectly. Well, the Roasties didn't turn out PERFECTLY, but they were fine.
Sunday dinner I made Roast Chicken, roast potatoes (Roasties), Steamed Broccoli, Yorkshire Puddings, Gravy, and Chocolate Fairy Cakes with Mocha Frosting. The skin on the chicken was seasoned perfectly and crispy golden brown, the Roasties could have been a BIT crisper on the outside, but they were soft and fluffy on the outside and golden on the outside, the Yorkshire puddings rose perfectly and were toasty and golden on the outside and soft and silky on the inside, the broccoli was green and cooked til it was tender with just a hint of firmness left- not so mushy it turned into baby-food paste in your mouth. The Gravy was seasoned to perfection. And the fairy cakes were actually a cross between Brownies and cake. If I had used NO liquid they would have been brownies. If I had used milk for the liquid, they would have been cake- but I added a half cup of strong, cold leftover coffee from the mornings pot and it turned into a firm fudgey cake-like batter. And they tasted wonderful!!

I'm not sure, but I think I'm just trying too hard when my in-laws are here. Lord knows they haven't given me any reason to think this- but I just feel so pressured to be the perfect daughter-in-law that I'm sort of screwing myself over. Because the second Paul and I were on our own, I was fine and back to being ME. The Parents have never given me any reason to feel pressured. I think that I just want to make sure everything runs smoothly while we're all under the same roof. Paul and I don't do things the same way The Parents do, and it IS their house and there's no reason they should have to change their routine anymore than they already have just because we're living with them for a while. I just want everything to run as smoothly as possible as long as we're here.

Anyway- Saturday afternoon we had a couple friends over and we ate out from the chippy while watching Eurovision's Song Contest, which was a LOT of fun altho the country I was pulling for didn't win.Let me explain it for my American family and fiends...Every country in Europe is invited but not required to participate in a song contest. One nominee is chosen for for each country. You CAN'T vote for your OWN country. Interesting concept. So, since I couldn't vote for UK's song -(which BTW Kimberly would LOVE since its a Boy band called Blue)I was pulling for Hungary and then Ireland(Jedward). Honestly I don't even remember who won- I THINK it was Azerbaijan, but that wasn't the biggest point of it anyway. They had some truly strange groups on there. It was a BLAST just watching the thing. Never mind who won.
Then yesterday was our 7th anniversary. I made brunch for us. We sat and watched movies for a while, then I made our lovely dinner. After I washed up, we played a game of Trivial Pursuit(the British version which I had NO clue to the answers) and by sheer, blind, unadulterated, LUCK I won. (This only took an hour tho because we decided after a half-hour of neither of us getting a single answer right that the first one to get TWO wedges would win). I may be sending someone back home some money and asking them to purchase and send me an American TP game so the odds are a bit evened up. Then we played another game called True or False and Paul won that game....twice. :-) Then we came into the living room and Paul gave me one of his AMAZING foot-rubs while we watched some TV. We made more coffee and then it was time to go to bed around 2AM.

Because of Paul's recent surgery, we couldn't "re-enact our wedding night", but we did cuddle and kiss a LOT. Let me just take a minute to say I honestly believe my husband is the most AMAZING kisser in the infinite universe(s). I absolutely believe that if sex were outlawed and ceased to exist- as much as I would miss it, I would truly be satisfied with his kisses alone. They're just so indescribably incredible they take my breath away. And that's all I'm gonna say on that.

It was a REALLY GREAT weekend.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I have a tummy ache today. I'm hoping its something like Aunty Flo FINALLY showing up and not another kidney infection. It hurts just like it did before when I had to be hospitalized. I can't hardly stand up straight. I have a doctors appointment Wednesday so I'll find out then if it's not any better.
Paul's procedure is tomorrow morning. Neither of us is looking forward to this experience very much. It's the first time EVER I've dealt with a spouse being hospitalized. And I'm not ashamed to tell you that I am scared to death. Paul told me he was worried beyond belief when I was hospitalized and almost died with that kidney infection a few years ago, but I didn't fully realize exactly how HE felt until we got all the details of his procedure.
One bad part is- over here- patients family members can't wait in a waiting room when they have an Out-patient surgery. They have to go home and wait for the nurse to call when the patient is ready to go home.
I just don't understand that. So far it's the only thing I've found about their medical system that is a downside.
This sucks.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Don't Ask- Don't Tell.

<--- Big Southern Breakfast(no pancakes)

<---Full English Breakfast

Well, so here we are, a few weeks into my new life here in the UK.
Things are way different here..... like food... and cooking styles.....but in reality- we're not SO different.

So I've been trying to find things that are the same as homes- and it's been difficult. Some things they HAVE here, but under a totally different name or Brand. Some are the same. Like Oreos...It seems OREOs are universal.
Other things not so much. We finally found Black-eye peas here in the local Tesco.

Now, one thing I HAVE learned is to not share my recipes with certain people. There are a couple of people who have specifically asked for them- and I gladly gave them what they asked for. But other people, who shall remain nameless, ask what is in a recipe and then turn their nose up at it before they even TRY it. I know some of our southern foods sound nasty when you hear the ingredients,but for God's sake- how about TRYING then before passing judgment?

Like Biscuits.....In the South, bisucuits are made with Flour, milk and shortening. That's it. Just baked in a pan and out of that seeming nastiness comes a lovely bread that's light and fluffy and filling and just plain decadent. Eat them plain, or cut open with butter, or with gravy (I'll get to THAT particular southern food in a minute) or ham or bacon or steak or chicken inside them. Or a pork chop even. YUM!!! Eat them with anything you would eat regular loaf bread with. And they're twice as good as plain loaf bread.

Now let's get to the Gravy... In the south we have three types gravy. One the Brits recognize is meat or brown gravy made with the meat drippings and juice from whatever meat they happen to be serving that night. The next on the list is Saw-Mill gravy. Made with the same ingredients as biscuits but in different quantities, with salt and pepper added in. Thick, but pourable, white or light cream colored, and perfect over potatoes, or biscuits, or grits(I'll get to those in a minute). The third kind is Red-Eye Gravy and I believe it's absolutely and totally a southern food. Before I describe what it is- let me just clarify something....

The Brits "Bacon" is what we call thin sliced country ham. What we call bacon is what they call "streaky bacon". What we call streaky bacon is what they call "Belly pork". Now that that's all clear and you're totally confused...

Our Red eye gravy is made by frying up some Bacon(country ham) and after it's browned up- remove it from the pan and leave the drippin's-(bacon/ham doesn't even leave any "grease" so to speak)- and then add a tiny shake of salt and a generous sprinkle of black pepper and then pour a cup of strong black coffee to it all and heat it up. That's it. Goes GREAT over grits or potatoes , or biscuits. A spoonful or so at a time til you decide if you like it or not. Which I almost gar-un-tee you will. My hubby doesn't. Which makes me sad- but different strokes and all that jazz.

The Wikipedia definition of grits....

Grits is a food that is common in the Southern United States, mainly used in breakfast. It consists of coarsely ground corn (when grits is made from hominy, it is referred to as hominy grits).

Grits is similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world, such as polenta. It also resembles farina, a thinner porridge.(But not so much-my observation.)

Grits are usually prepared by adding one part grits to two-to-three parts boiling water and seasoned with salt and butter. They are usually cooked for 15 - 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the grits become a porridge-like consistency. They expand as they are cooked and need to be stirred several times to prevent sticking and forming lumps. They may be served with grated cheese or topped with sausage or country ham "red-eye gravy". Those closer to the Mason-Dixon line (also known as borderline Yankee territory)may prefer to season grits with sugar instead of salt. (No southerner would be caught dead doing that-My observation.)

Grits can also be fried in a pan or molded to create a firm block. The resulting block can be cut with a knife or wire, and the slices are fried in a fat such as vegetable oil, butter, or bacon grease. (Alto I've NEVER in my LIFE seen anyone actually DO this...Again, this must be a Yankee Territory thing ..or possibly Southern Folklore created by some poor Yankee who didn't know what GRITS was and put sugar in it because they were too embarrassed to ask. Bless Their Hearts.)

And time and time again I've seen wrinkled noses about these very foods.

The closest I've come to any of that is saying "Excuse me- did I hear that right??/ ___ & ___ combined? That's an unusual combination- but I'll try it next time!!!" I'll try just about anything once. (The combination in question was an Onion and cheese butty(sandwich). And I wasn't hungry at the time was the reason I didn't try it THEN.) Two words for you in reference to try it then Judge-.........Black Pudding. I LOVE it but if you know what it is before you try it- you probably wouldn't try it at ALL.

Don't Ask- Don't Tell...sounds like a PLAN to me.

Monday, May 02, 2011

What's Really Awesome....

Is when you have family and friends who care enough to talk and try and help.

You know who you are!!!